I am laying (floating) an engineered hardwood floor and so far its been
pretty fun. Does anyone have any good tips on making things easier. I have
all the basics down (expansion gap, tapping block, glue, etc) - but are
there any good tips. I will give a couple of examples of areas where I
think some tips from the pros will help - but I am open to any tips.
 Glue - when the excess glue pops out between the joints what do you use
to clean it up? I am using a damp cloth and it works well, but I feel like
I am spending too much time ensuring there is no glue showing between the
boards. The flooring has beveled edges so I usually run my nail along the
edge making sure it is absolutely clean.
 Any tips on cutting around door edges or vents in the floor for heat/ac?
I started with a skill saw and have since moved to my sliding miter and
coping saw. I get it as close as possible with the miter and than cope the
corner and it has worked out a 1000x's better than the skill saw. I was out
of control with that skill saw.
 Any tips on momentum - I would love to pick up some speed but it just
seems like a slow process.
 Any tips on when cutting end pieces to fit keep the splintering to a
minimum? I have been using a pretty good blade (100T 12inch) and going slow
and this has been working good, but occasionally I do get a bit of a rough
I know some of those are basic questions and that putting in a floating
floor is not rocket science, but with putting in my own (first) floor I just
want to do the best job I can.
100% of it is covered so far. I am not sure if any of it will be exposed.
However, I know this will sound dumb, but even though it is hidden I still
would like to keep it hidden. I guess one of my concerns is that maybe the
splintering could cause cracks down the surface of the board with the
changes in season.
Engineered flooring (or most any floating flooring) is like a plywood.
There is some sort of substrate involved in addition to the money
layer. That means cracks shouldn't be a problem, and in any event, any
splintering you might get is going to be superficial, and in most
cases extremely fragile. It can't "cause" anything.
That won't help in the centre of the floor. It's not like all sections that
run the entire length of the room, there's bound to be quite a few end cuts
spaced all over the place.
Only things I can think of are for him to experiment with some scrap pieces
and adjust his technique to see if he can improve the quality of the end
cuts. If that doesn't help, next I'd have the blade sharpened. Other
alternatives include a piece of masking tape on top of the cut line or a
scrap of wood on top of the cut line to prevent tear-out.
Uh, the ends of the boards in engineered flooring have the same joints
as the long edges. There is absolutely no reason to have end cuts
anywhere but at the edges, at a doorway, or around a register. In all
cases, the end cuts, splintered or otherwise, will be covered by
something--trim, transition strip, register.
The OP is installing MANUFACTURED flooring. I'm thinking Pergo, et al.
Are not all the ends machined to interlock? Mine were. The only "raw"
ends I had were at the walls (and the island) where the cut ends were
concealed by the base molding.
This will def. take practice - as I have no real idea on how much is too
much or too little. I would hate to not use enough and have issues with
I removed the molding in the whole room and bought a dovetail saw to cut off
the bottom of the wood that trims the inside threshold between the rooms so
the floor would fit nicely under it. So I take it I am on the right track
One of my friends had an installer do there install. It took the installers
probably 3-4 hours to slam in 250sq feet. That's just amazing... In 4
hours I had 4 rows of 3 1/2" flooring with only 30 more rows to go...
Depends how many guys were working on your friend's floor. I had 340 sq
ft engineered flooring installed (nail down) by one very good
installer, he took 2 1/2 days and did a great job. I put down new
baseboard myself, as I don't like the look of regular base plus 1/4
round, or shoe. Looks like someone added the shoe moulding rather than
use thicker base. My installer kept the gap at the walls at 3/8 max, so
I bought "1x2" (5/8 x 1 5/8) poplar, ripped it with the blade at an
angle and the wood run on edge and routed a 1/8 roundover on it to make
my own moulding. Only took a day to make and install, and looks much
Around floor registers, the lip at the edge of the register cover will
cover your cuts. BTW, if you can get matching solid wood, and really
want a nice cover, you can make your own. I had some stairs done in the
same wood, and made my own cover out of the scraps from that, makes it
blend right in with the floor.
Sounds like you're doing things right. Take your time. I tend to use a
jigsaw and a Johnson 12" SpeedSquare a lot. That combinations follows me
around the room. And as Mr. Confused mentioned, most end-cuts will be
"Steady as she goes and damn the torpedoes"
You _are_ cutting good-side down, aren't you? puts the splinters on the bad
side. Since no one else has mentioned it, I'll remind you.
I just made new shoe moldings for my floating floor installations. The tiny
ones installed initially wouldn't reach far enough. Of course, I'm cheap,
and made all my thresholds and transitions rather than pay the horribly
inflated prices at the store. Red oak is pretty cheap by the BF. Much
cheaper than moldings.
Nope. I use a 'laminate' jigsaw blade. The teeth point downward. It's a
bit hard to use at first, because the saw want to jump away from the
work, but with a SpeedSquare held 'just so' on the edge of a 12" box..it
is quite doable. I turn off the orbital function of the saw and run it
at about 1/2 speed.
That's not a matter of being cheap.. that's being smart. First of all,
those 'special' mouldings are 'stupid money' and secondly, the ones I
make are much nicer and better suited for the particular requirements.
I almost always have enough scrap from countertop edges lying around to
make the trim I need.
Oh, and another thing, pre-finished floors look like ....ermmm..
pre-finished? Many of them are 'balanced' by semi-transparent stains
showing normal wear and tear in an ugly way. Maybe that's just me.
If you can, remove what would be called a 'throat plate' if you were using a
table saw. I'm not sure if it is called the same thing on a (S)CMS. Then
replace it with a block of wood or MDF that just fits in the void. An there
you go... a zero-clearance insert that will minimize splintering.
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